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"The most crucial thing is the behaviour in design" says Kim Herforth Nielsen of 3XN

Netherlands Architecture News - Jun 17, 2020 - 10:21   3376 views

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) has shared its eighteenth keynote of Kim Herforth Nielsen, Co-founder and Principal of Danish firm 3XN Architects from the WAF 2019 stage. WAC releases these exclusive lectures each week as part of WAC's media partnership with WAF.

WAF's 2019 talks & keynotes series bring exclusive talks of outstanding architects to audience who was not able to participate to the festival in 2019. 

Following the releases of Elizabeth Diller, Massimiliano Fuksas, Eva Franch, Ben van Berkel, Peter Cook, Petra Blaisse and Mario Cucinella's keynotes, Nielsen discusses the design philosophy and methodology of the firm and explains how they combine research and architecture in the studio's innovation arm GXN Innovation

Taking "human behaviour" in the center of design, the performability of a building is the key factor in architecture, according to the architect. 

"I think the most crucial thing is the behavior in design, because we put people in the center of our process, wherever we design. It is, of course, about how people perform in the building," says Kim Herforth Nielsen.

"You can design an energy-sufficient building, but if it doesn’t work for the people, it doesn’t work."

At the end of his keynote, Nielsen sits with Paul Finch, Programme Director of WAF to dive into the office's architectural philosophy.

3XN was founded in Aarhus, Denmark in 1986 by young architects Kim Herforth Nielsen, Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen. The three Nielsens quickly developed a reputation for creating buildings of substance with compelling aesthetics, supported by a strong theoretical foundation. 

The new headquarters of the International Olympic and Paralympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, cube Berlin, "Europe’s next generation smart office", are the key projects of the firm. 

In 2017, the firm established the innovation unit GXN to collect and apply the latest knowledge on behaviour materials and new technologies to our architecture. 

In 2019, GXN released design for mobile 3D printing robots, exploring how 3D printers can be made to move autonomously by creating physical and virtual hacks of existing printers in order to meet these global challenges. 

Kim Herforth Nielsen. Image courtesy of WAF

Nielsen delivered his keynote on December 4, 2019 at the WAF. His keynote, titled Embracing Constraints, focused on innovative use of space, aesthetics which create a dialog with the surrounding landscape, and use of latest generation materials and technology which are fundamental to 3XN Architects' work. 

In his 40-minute keynote, the architects talked about the new headquarters of International Olympic and Paralympic Games in Lausanne and the new Sydney Fish Market which acts as a community center combining operations and leisure. 

3XN's new International Olympic and Paralympic Games HQ in Lausanne. Image © Adam Mørk

As the firm explains, GXN Innovation – the G stands for ‘Green’ – which focuses on research into sustainable and environmentally aware construction solutions and how to create human centered buildings. 

Nielsen elaborates the studio's working methodology in four steps: circular design (cradle-to-cradle philosophy), material research (from waste - to built materials), digital design (robot design - robots can repair - creating new forms in an economical way) and behaviour design (how different kinds of environments has influences on people’s behavior).

3XN's Sydney Fish Market in Sydney. Image courtesy of 3XN

Integrating research and practice, by combining 3XN professionals and GXN innovation, has demonstrated that complex challenges often benefit from holistic yet simple solutions. 

As the lecture title, “Embracing Constraints”, concisely implies, the specific limitations of each project are an opportunity for innovation, a chance to introduce creative new ideas.

3XN's Royal Arena in Copenhagen completed in 2017. Image © Adam Mørk 

The World Architecture Festival, with its sister event World Festival of Interiors (INSIDE), are organized annually and WAF hosts a number of distinguished architects discussing a specific theme each year over the three-day festival, as well as its global awards program. Architects and designers present their projects live to a panel of expert judges. 

This year, WAF and INSIDE, which are still planned in typical way despite of the pandemic, will take place between 2-4 December, in Lisbon. But entry deadline for WAF and INSIDE have been extended to 14 August, 2020. Start your entry from here.

World Architecture Community is official Media Partner for this year's festival and offers to its Professional Members 10% discounted tickets over regular festival prices during WAF registration and their entries per project submission! All you have to do is to upgrade your World Architecture Community membership to Professional here or visit your WAC Settings page and send us ([email protected]) an email to get your promo code for your WAF registration!

Top image courtesy of WAF.

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